No dietary modification has been shown to prevent the development of age-related maculopathy, but its progression may be reduced by oral treatment with antioxidants (vitamins C and E), zinc, copper, and carotenoids (lutein and zeaxanthin, rather than vitamin A [beta-carotene]). Oral omega-3 fatty acids do not provide additional benefit.
In wet age-related macular degeneration, inhibitors of vascular endothelial growth factors (VEGF), such as ranibizumab (Lucentis), bevacizumab (Avastin), and aflibercept (VEGF Trap-Eye, Eylea), cause regression of choroidal neovascularization with resorption of subretinal fluid and improvement or stabilization of vision. Long-term repeated intraocular injections are required and must be administered in the eye clinic several times a year, if not monthly. Treatment is well tolerated with minimal adverse effects, but there is a risk of infection (1/2000), retinal detachment (1/10,000), vitreous hemorrhage, and cataract. A certain percentage of patients do not respond to anti-VEGF injections and up to one-third of eyes lose vision despite regular treatment.
There is no specific treatment for dry age-related macular degeneration but, as for wet degeneration, rehabilitation including low-vision aids is important. In addition, patients should be advised to stop smoking and to take vitamin supplements as described above.